Project Factsheet
Tools for » Harnessing Sustainable linkages for SMEs in Turkey's textile sector
Project ID 00070634 Description MDGF-2067-D-TUR Private Sector
Fund
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 24 Apr 2009
Theme
MDGF Private Sector Devt
Project status Financially Closed
Country Turkey Participating Organization   Multiple
About

Overview:

The Programme’s goal was to increase competitiveness of the national textile and clothing (T/A) industry in a sustainable manner. The first outcome addressed integration into the global value chains in a global economy. As such, the Programme aimed at improving the networking and collaboration capacities of T/A companies, and providing them with a platform through which integration into the global value chains could become easier. 

The JP also sought to integrate corporate social responsibility into business practices and processes, from a development as well as competitiveness perspective. Multinational corporations (MNC's) and large firms on the higher end of the value chain are putting pressure on the SME's to not only meet quantity, quality and price-cost requirements, but also demonstrate minimum environmental and social requirements. Some Turkish suppliers in the textile and clothing sector lack the understanding, skills and managerial capacity to respond to these pressures. 

The JP supported Government of Turkey during the preparation of National Textile Strategy, which envisages and supports the creation of regional clusters of the textile and apparel value chain. As such, the complementarities between the Government’s strategy and the JP’s outcomes was one of the strongest assurance of sustainability. 

Key achievements of the progrmme in clued the establishment of a value Chain Management Portal to strengthen T/A SMEs’ networking and collaboration capabilities. The portal was selected as best practice by the International Marketing Association.  As a result of the JP, Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters Association (ITKIB), – the de facto umbrella organization, bringing T/C companies together – is now capable of facilitating networking and collaboration in a sustainable and cost efficient manner. Thus, the JP has achieved  it’s intended results both at the macro- and micro- levels.

Together with the ITKIB and key stakeholders the JP established the Sustainable Competitiveness Centre in the target provinces as a platform for local stakeholders to support the SMEs in their regions. More than 250 people and some 136 SMEs benefited from the training & counseling services rendered through the Sustainable Competitiveness Center (SCC). Some 174 SMEs benefited from the support scheme which encouraged sustainable business models by building organic linkages and supporting SMEs in becoming active members of the Value Chain Management Platform (VCMP).

As a result of the JP’s efforts, a national sustainable and responsible competitiveness agenda for the T/A industry was created. The JP facilitated development of skills and capabilities both at the micro-level (enterprises) and at the meso- and macro-levels (business  support organizations, line ministries etc). Enterprise-level awareness building tools were produced and deployed, with over 1,500 workers and nearly 200 employers participating in the training on “Gender and Social Conduct” , and over 1,000 workers and nearly 300 employers attending the training on “Environmental Conduct”.

 

Outcome 1:

Productivity and innovation capacities of the SMEs in the Turkish textile and apparel industry especially in poor and vulnerable areas strengthened through enhanced collaboration and networking for increased competitiveness.

 

Outcome achievements:

  • A value Chain Management Portal was established to strengthen T/A SMEs’ capabilities to network and collaborate. Styleturkish.com had 5217 accounts active as of end 2012. (Target was 1000). The portal was selected a best practice by the International Marketing Association.
  •  As a result of the JP the Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters Association, (ITKIB) – the de facto umbrella organization, bringing T/C companies together – is now capable of facilitating networking and collaboration in a sustainable and cost efficient manner.
  • The JP enhanced the capacities of national and regional SME support and advisory institutions in the field of clustering and business linkage development, with some 95 trained on cluster development.
  • About 101 SMEs participated in the cluster diagnostic studies and another 26 in the network analysis. Cluster development agents, mobilized within the scope of the JP reached out to 40 SMEs (target was 65).
  • Established the Sustainable Competitiveness Centre with the ITKIB and stakeholders in the target provinces as a platform for collaboration, which could help local stakeholders (such as universities, business chambers, labor unions, development agencies etc.) support the SMEs in their regions.
  • More than 250 people and some 136 SMEs in target provinces benefited from the training & counseling services rendered through the Sustainable Competitiveness Center (SCC).
  • The JP encouraged sustainable business models in T/A industry by building organic linkages and supporting SMEs in becoming active members of the Value Chain Management Platform (VCMP). Some 174 SMEs benefited from the support scheme.

 

Outcome 2:

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles (including sustainable development, gender equality) are integrated into the business processes and practices of the Turkish SME’s in textile sector for increased competitiveness.

 

Outcome achievements:

  • As a result of the JP, a national sustainable and responsible competitiveness agenda for the T/A industry was created.
  • The JP facilitated development of skills and capabilities both at the micro-level (enterprises) and at the meso- and macro-levels (business  support organizations, line ministries etc).
  • Enterprise-level awareness building tools were produced and deployed. The tools developed included training programmes, training of trainers (TOT) programmes, manuals and booklets. As per the JP’s last monitoring report some 1,589 workers and 197 employers attended the training on “Gender and Social Conduct” (target was 750 workers and managers).
  • Some 1,071 workers and 288 employers attended the training on “Environmental Conduct” which were complemented with informative visual materials on labor standards and gender, estimated to have reached to 1,500 people.

 

Best Practices:

  • The online value chain management platform was an innovative approach that helped SMEs in the disadvantaged regions of Turkey have better and easier access to the global value chains. This will serve as pilots fully scalable to other SMEs in other regions.
  • The inclusion of various actors of the global value chains in the implementation of the programme was a best practice. For example: the JP brought the international buyers and the SMEs together. When CSR is promoted by the international buyers as a critical component of their buying decisions the pace of adoption of CSR principles by SMEs increased. This was complemented by successful business models which showcased how select Turkish T/A companies incorporated CSR into their business models and became more profitable.  The report was considered a good practice as it capitalized on the expertise of the participating UN agencies to address different components of CSR,  and at the same time positioned ITKIB as the coordinator and owner of the process.

 

Lessons Learned:

  • Utilization of online technologies (including social networking) can produce results in a much more efficient and effective fashion.
  • A market-oriented approach can yield successful results in fostering the private sector’s role in development. Had the JP had concentrated merely on SMEs and neglected the international buyers (in this case the “market”), promoting CSR would have been much harder.
  • The JP showed that a joint programming approach is most beneficial when the each participating UN agency has a unique value that it can add.
  • The JP highlighted the need for having an integrated, comprehensive and practical M&E system at the outset of the implementation.
  • In a JP setting where different UN agencies are involved, an effective JP Manager is critical to ensure coordination.
  • Local (field) presence might be considered an additional financial burden especially in cases where a JP is implemented in more than one location at the same time. However without local presence, implementation of field activities becomes a challenge.
  • It is very difficult for the target groups in the field to perceive the difference between each UN agency and the JP. Therefore also in line with One UN, in case of future common funds, it seems certainly more positive to use only the United Nations logo and title.

More details can be found in the final project report below.

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Contacts

If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Turkey or the lead agency for the programme.

The persons with GATEWAY access rights to upload and maintain documents for the programme:

  • Halide Caylan, RC Officer; Telephone: 90 312 4541087; Email: halide.caylan@undp.org
  • Esra Ulukan, Programme Finance Associate; Telephone: (90 312) 454 1121; Email: esra.ulukan@undp.org; Skype: esra.ulukan.undp
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